Is Using Aluminum Foil Containers Safe For Health?

Is Using Aluminum Foil Containers Safe For Health

Last Updated on April 10, 2024 by Yoyo

So, you know how tons of food, drinks, and even meds are wrapped up in aluminum foil, right? It’s light, it has an excellent barrier property, and best of all, you can recycle it. But for ages, folks have been saying that cooking or packing food in aluminum foil can cause the aluminum to leach into the food, which we then eat. That can’t be good for our health, right? Especially when it comes to scary stuff like Alzheimer’s.

So, is packaging our dishes in aluminum foil slowly killing us or what?

Is Using Aluminum Foil Containers Safe For Health
Is Using Aluminum Foil Containers Safe For Health

Does Aluminum Foil Leaching into My Meal?

First off, let’s answer the big question: does aluminum from the foil actually leach into our food?

According to a 2019 experiment by Dani Dordevic and his crew, when they baked some stuff in aluminum foil at 220℃, aluminum did creep into the food. But, they only used a certain type of aluminum foil, so who knows if it happens with all types, or at what temperature aluminum starts to leak.

Does Aluminum Foil Harm Our Health?

So why do we keep using aluminum foil if it could be bad for us? Are manufacturers just trying to save a buck at the cost of our health? Not quite.

Here’s the deal, for aluminum to leach into the food from the foil, it needs to match some conditions:

  1. The heat’s got to be over 200℃
  2. The food’s got to be acidic, like tomatoes, citrus, vinegar, cola, etc.
  3. The aluminum foil has to be touching the food directly

That third point is key. Most aluminum foil packaging has a layer of food-grade plastic on the side that’s in contact with the food. This stops the aluminum from oxidizing (it’s easy to oxidize in air) and stops it from coming into direct contact with the food, so no aluminum gets into your grub. Even if you’re packaging acidic food like cola or tomato sauce, you’re safe.

When it comes to the packaging of takeout food, a large number of contemporary restaurants have turned to the use of disposable aluminum foil containers as their preferred choice. These boxes are designed with a special kind of lining which adds another layer of protection between the food and the aluminum. Generally, the food placed inside these boxes is not exceedingly hot, substantially reducing the risk of the food reacting with the aluminum. Therefore, concerns about potential aluminum poisoning should not be a significant source of worry when consuming takeout food from these aluminum foil boxes.

aluminum foil packaging containers will not leach aluminum into food
aluminum foil packaging containers will not leach aluminum into food

Can I Cook in Aluminum Foil Containers Directly?

Aikou has an aluminum foil baking cup product line, perfect for baking cupcakes. You don’t need an extra paper liner, and you can use it as packaging when you’re done. They’re sturdy and pretty, so bakeries love ’em.

But are you wondering if aluminum is going to leach into your cake while it’s baking?

No need to worry.

When you bake cupcakes, the oven temperature is usually only between 160℃ – 180℃, not the 200℃ needed for aluminum leakage. Plus, because the liquid cake mix conducts heat well, the cup doesn’t get too hot. It’s like boiling water—you’re not going to burn through the kettle, right?

Research shows that it’s safe for adults to consume about 7-9 mg of aluminum from food each day. So, you can enjoy your aluminum foil-wrapped foods and occasional aluminum foil container cooking without fear. But if you’ve got chronic kidney failure or you’re kiddo, better to be safe than sorry—keep an eye on your aluminum intake, since your safe amount is affected by your metabolism and weight.